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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 28, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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>> booktv, television for serious readers. >> next, "the communicators" with california representatives zoe lofgren and congressman john shimkus of illinois. then a house hearing with astronauts testifying from aboard the international space station. after that, a conversation with dan pfeiffer, senior adviser to president obama. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> host: and this week on "the communicators" we talk with two members of congress about several telecommunications
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issues that congress is confronting. zoe lofgren, democrat of california, who represents a lot of the high-tech companies in the silicon valley area. she serves on the judiciary committee and the internet subcommittee. she talks about some of the issues that they are facing. and john shimkus is a republican from illinois. he's on the energy and commerce committee. that committee covers a lot of the telecommunications issues as well. well, whenever we talk about the issue of privacy on "the communicators," we often turn to representative zoe lofgren, a democrat from california. >> guest: right. >> host: what's your particular interest in all the privacy issues? >> guest: well, it really is rooted in the constitution. you know, if you're intimidated that the government is tracking everything you do, not only does it deal with the fourth amendment, but it also has an impact on the first amendment.
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under our constitution the citizens have a right to speak their minds, to say what they think is right. and as they deal with being watched or swim be dated, it -- intimidated, it shields the first amendment. it's a very serious assault on our structure of government. and, obviously, there are technology issues i care about. it's my district, it employs my constituents. but the real issue is rooted in american freedom. >> host: defense bill. you recently had an amendment passed. >> guest: yes, we did. it was huge. you know, one of the things, you know, the usa freedom act ended up probably increasing the amount of surveillance legally possible rather than decreasing it, which was a great disappointment to me and, i think, very unfair to representative sensen sensenbre. he might disagree with that, but he's a very honorable guy be,
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worked very hard to improve the situation. what happened was it was weakened, the bill was weakened. but we worked through the bill in committee. i still supported it because at that time it at least improved the situation. then after the mark up it was secretly changed and way to the worse. and, of course, it was rushed to the floor. i added up how much time opponents of the changes had to speak, three and a half minutes to say what was wrong with it. obviously, that was not possible to do. a lot of the members i know from subsequent discussions were not fully aware of the changes that had been made which is a disservice to the house and, of course, it passed. and it seemed to me that we needed an opportunity to discuss the fourth amendment as it relates to nsa and to give the
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house an opportunity to fairly weigh in on that. of course, since we didn't have any amendments allowed under the usa freedom act, we looked at what we could do under the defense appropriations bill. we crafted an amendment that said really this: under 702 of the act you can collect data, and we now know from the snowden disclosures that it's a lot of data, that may also include the information of americans even though that can't be the purpose of the collection of the data. what the amendment simply said was that if you want to search that lawfully-acquired database for americans, you should get a warrant. not that you can't get the information. get a warrant. that's the standard in the fourth amendment. and when faced with that question, the house voted overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly, 293-123, to stand for the fourth amendment. and i thought it was just quite
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a thrilling moment for the house on a bipartisan basis to stand for the constitution. >> host: now, representative lofgren, what are the chances of that amendment making it through on the senate side? >> guest: well, i don't know. i mean, i'm never confident when i try and predict what the u.s. senate will do. but i think it will help those in the senate trying to make sure that we have a constitutional structure when dealing with nsa surveillance, it will help them, i think, to prevail knowing that the house overwhelmingly, 3 to 1, believes in the constitution. whether this is in the appropriations process, whether it's in the usa freedom act, they have to figure that out. but i'm hopeful that we will have a constitutional structure. i recently did an e-mail to my e-mail list asking them what do you think about this? yes, this is the right thing to do because it's unconstitutional to search americans' data
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without a warm, or, no -- without a warrant, or, no, it doesn't bother me or i don't know. 87% said, yeah, you need a warrant. i mean, the american people, i believe, think the constitution matters. and i hope the senators do too. >> host: these privacy issues, you often work in a bipartisan basis, don't you? >> guest: i do. i do. you know, my belief is if you don't agree with somebody 100% of the time, that's no excuse for working with them on something you do agree on. and so if you take a look at congressman massey and i were the co-sponsors. you know, we don't agree on many, many things, but we did agree on this, and so we worked together on that. congressman amash, other democrats, mr. sensenbrenner supported the amendment. you know, it's people who could agree on the need for the constitution. and i think people in the country should take comfort in that as well, that people can work together on common causes for the common good.
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>> host: how active is your judiciary subcommittee, intellectual property and the internet, on these types of telecom issues that, you know, with technology involved? >> guest: not as much as we should be, honestly. i do think there's a review of copyright law underway, i mean, through hearings. i think certainly there are some issues relative to how artists are compensated that do deserve attention and artists, you know, have a legitimate complaint about their compensation. but i think it's really failed to include how to headache that happen with -- how to make that happen with the technology industry as much as it could have. so we'll see where that ends up. >> host: well, your district up in northern california, a lot of tech companies. >> guest: yeah. >> host: you've got southern california with a lot of artists, so recently you held a hearing on music license. >> guest: right. >> host: i mean, respect there competing forces right there in your own state? >> guest: talking to some of the music folks, they now see the
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technology sector as their delivery platform. there's more music streamed today than there is bought by downloads or cds, and that's only going to continue. so the tech industry and the artist community need to talk together about how to make this work for the country. and i think there's more of that dialogue going on now, which is good. i mean, if we can get the business interests onboard and working out the technical details so it's fair, that's likely going to be better than the congress legislating something. >> host: what's the status of any copyright legislation? does it stand a chance in this congress? >> guest: well, i don't know. you know, i had a bill to actually fix the cell phone unlocking situation. that's another example where we had a bill that was -- i agreed to co-sponsor even a though it wasn't necessary. it basically just codified what the library of congress had
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already done, but to be a good guy, you know, i supported it. but the real fix is in changing section 1201 of the act so that you protect copyright instead of focusing on technology to make an overbroad simplification. that has not been heard. and, of course, after the bill was passed, we marked it up out of committee, and it was secretly changed so that it was actually a diminution of technology protection. i was greatly -- and, of course, it was brought to the floor on suspension. most members did not realize that these changes had been included. i was in, at the airport. i didn't even get a chance to speak on it. it's not the way we should legislate, in my judgment. it's not the way the body was set up to do these secret deals and then jam them through the
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house. >> host: what happens when you're at the airport and you learn about this stuff? >> guest: well, i actually had heard about it on a saturday from an e-mail and did have an opportunity to ask the chairman about it, and he didn't really know about it at that point. but they proceeded anyway, and unfortunately, the plane did not have wi-fi, so -- [laughter] >> host: zoe lofgren, i also wanted to ask you about immigration which is a big issue for your tech community. >> guest: yeah. for all communities. well, i mean, the speaker's announced we're not going to do immigration reform. i think that is a great disappointment. the country, if you go out and ask anybody is your first choice do nothing, that's not going to be people's first choice. people might have disagreements in some cases about the nuances of how to fix the broken system, but to do nothing? not what the people sent us here to do. but apparently, that is the
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speaker's decision. i'm going to urge the president that he do everything that he legally can within current law to make the system work better. there are some tools in the tool box that are provided under law, and he should make use of every single one of them. some of them will help vatted families, some -- separated families, some of them will help the technology industry. in some cases he can't really do what needs to be done because the law itself needs to be changed. but he needs to max out on permitted regulations. >> host: over the past year, we've seen several articles and reports about the technology community increasing its presence in washington d.c. are they starting to -- is washington starting to understand, do you think, the tech community more than it did in the past? >> guest: not really. not for the most part. yeah, and when they increase
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their presence 900% -- 300%, there's still a small percentage of the old line industries that have been here a long time. so, you know, unfortunately unless you have some kind of basic understanding of technology itself -- which, unfortunately, not everyone does -- you're going to make mistakes here. >> host: fcc. >> guest: yeah. >> host: net neutrality, wrapping up its comment period. >> guest: right. i saw -- i haven't read all the comments. i saw according to the newspapers some of them were probe fanty laced. -- profanity laced. one of the big issues in the valley and, i think, for the country is net neutrality. you want to decide what you get to see on the internet or do you want some company to decide what you see on the internet? the answer's overwhelming, it's up to me. people don't want to turn the internet into cable tv. and that's really what the net neutrality fight is about. the solutions are not as obvious
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as one might suggest. it may be that we need to reclass tie the internet -- reclassify the internet, but if so, we don't want a heavy regulatory hand on the internet. so this is, i think it's appropriate for the fcc to be getting these comments. there are a number of creative suggestions coming in by tech-savvy people that need be analysis, but in the end we just need to keep in mind internet, like cable tv, or internet like the internet. and the stick with the latter. >> host: would you be supportive of reclassification? >> guest: i might provided that that was coupled with provisions that you couldn't get into a heavy regulatory load on the internet. we don't -- we're at risk from monopolistic companies that might decide for users what they can access, but we also don't want the government to be regulating content or access
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either. so it's, as i say, it's not an easy solution, but the need for the right solution to keep the internet free is obvious. and, you know, some of my colleagues say, well, you know, we don't want to start regulating. people have to recall the principle of net neutrality was what allowed the internet to grow. i mean, until just recently that was the rule of law. and we need to get back there. >> host: zoe lofgren, democrat of california. thanks for your time. >> guest: very good. good to see you, thanks. >> host: well, representative john shimkus serves on the energy and commerce committee. he's a republican from illinois, and he's introduced a bill called the dot.com bill. what is that, congressman? >> guest: well, the basic premise of the dot.com act is to make sure that when the nation relinquishes its last control oversight over the domain name system, that the we know what we're getting ourselves into. there's this talk of what's
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called a multistakeholder approach. industry's very supportive of it. some governments are. in our hearings i found it difficult for people to really define what that means. so to some people it means, oh, great, the tech community and non-government organizations and everyone's going to be involved, and they're just going to work for the good of the whole, and they're going to move forward. you hear some governments say multistakeholder, that's great. that means we're going to be able to be more involved. and i would say maybe some organizations and governments that might be friends to us, or internet freedom. so that's why this bill which is, i crafted it very carefully because where a lot of us who even co-sponsored the bill think we might be able to go in this direction someday, we're just trying to figure out what that means before we let the horse out of the barn and to get some
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definitions. because once we release it, we won't -- we may not get it back. and the rest of us think that we just, parking lot of the debating -- part of the debating is we have more internet freedom today than we ever have. the system really was birthed in the united states and grew up, and now the whole world enjoys the benefits of a, you know, for the most part, open, transparent system of communication. we would say where is the problem? and we're concerned that there may be a problem if we don't know what we're getting ourselves into. >> host: and we're talking here about the internet corporation for assignment of names and numbers. icann. >> guest: that's correct. >> host: who runs icann now, and who will run it at some point? >> guest: well, icann is really run, they are not a government organization, but -- or ntia,
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which is a government agency under the department of commerce, has kind of the last oversight of icann. icann, basically s all on its own. corporate headquarters are here. there is a contractual agreement between ntia and icann for them to be doing this job of assigning names and numbers in the domain space, but what some people in the international community, some -- there's a fear on both sides. see, what's interesting about this bill is there's the same fear on both sides. there's a fear from those that say, shimkus, don't do this, because you're going to empower the government to say, well, we don't trust the united states, and we're going to take it over for ourselves, or we want it. or there's going to be people like me who say, well, if we're not careful and we don't get a definition of who these multistakeholders are, who's to say they're not going to be able
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to in this process exert more control or allow some concern? so the bill is really simple, and i think that it's -- all it asks for is a government accountability office report. our ig, in essence, to say let's look at this, report back to us so that we can have as much facts as we can before we release icann. the administration seems to be in a big hurry. but really icann, ntia, they have been, made numerous statements that this is going to take a while. this transition's not going to go on overnight. so we're saying, well, if it's going to take a while, let's do this report. it's really curious how controversial this has become when i don't think there should be any merit for any controversy here. >> host: well, we're nearing august, and it's an election year. finish what are the chances of this happening in this congress?
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>> guest: well, i've been a member a long time. i love the job. i appreciate my constituents sending me back. observers of the institution know that stuff like this might get finished before we break before an election, but also folks know that we come back. is and things that are on the shelf that are ready to go could move rapidly through the process. there is some concerns raised by senators in the other chamber. not to a point where a bill has been dropped, but where letters have been submitted raising the same concerns. and we don't really know where the senate would go. my guess is with senator reid they'll continue to protect the president and not do anything that they feel would harm him. but i guess the executive branch at this time. but after an election, you know,
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all bet withs are off. you don't know what the makeup will be in the future congress, so what deal could you strike, kind of the get out of town vote or will the winners and losers get intransgent because they weren't winners or losers? i didn't predict. all i know is in this business you never say never because you never know what will pop up right at the end. and this is just a gao report. if they can't accept a gao report, i mean, what can they accept? >> host: if the process moves forward and icann becomes a hullty -- multistakeholder, who's going to be running the internet? is there such a thing? is there an internet manager out there? >> guest: well, they have 34u89 billion servers and there's a couple overseas, so the question is who's actually setting the rules for these servers to talk to each other. and the fear is that if we don't have an international system in which everyone wants to play by
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the same rules, then you're going to have people break off and set up their own rules, servers, and then that's where the tech community as a whole fears. i think they -- we're still, you know, we're still a great nation and a major commerce industry flows here. i still think that it would be tough for someone to try to opt out of the system without having the united states as part of their access for, you know, jobs, information sharing and the like. i just know the arguments on both sides, and i've heard 'em, and i appreciate my colleagues, but i kind of reject their premise. >> host: we've seen examples where countries can really slow or even stop internet traffic; egypt, iran. is that a fear if icann becomes a multistakeholder corporation? >> guest: not if we know what
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hullty stakeholder means and that is defined. who are the people that are going to be on this board? and there's a lot more examples. you know, turkey slowed down the twitter feeds and stuff. in this world, in this environment to say that's not happening, it is happening. so who's going to be the governing body? and, i mean, they just met. france, i think. and they had a fight -- oh, no. the french representatives had a fight over the wine.com, and they almost stopped the whole system over, you know, regionalization of products, and it, you know, because the way that the product is named represents an area of france. they don't want the world to just say champagne, you know, on the internet web site when there is a location in france that that's only that type of product is made. so can you imagine the if we're
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going to have a battle and almost shut down this whole internet debate over champagne, what would happen in the process when you're doing stuff on internet freedom, the right to discourse and government to headache you shut things down? >> host: if the dot.com act does not pass, the study is not done, what happens? >> guest: well, i think the administration keeps moving forward in this transition. and if my friends who think it's going to be okay, i would then hope they're right. but if they're wrong, they may wish they had taken more time. >> host: can you as a member of congress ask for a gao report? >> guest: you can. and i think that's what the senators were in the process of doing. whether they finally did that or not, the point is what good is a report if it comes out bad and they've already made the transition? so there is a reason to tie it
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to the final approval, because again, what good is a report if -- oh, shoot, we should have, we should have got this a week earlier. [laughter] it's not like this administration would move previous to, you know, to having a good analysis of what may happen. >> host: representative shimkus, you serve on the energy and be commerce committee. the fcc has wrapped up its initial comment period on the so-called net neutrality rules and potential actions. what are your thoughts about net neutrality? >> guest: yeah, that's a great question because the chairman of the commission's got himself in kind of hot water with both sides to some extent. but i, where i don't agree with chairman wheeler on a lot of issues, this one i kind of agree that if you want to be a major user of bandwidth, then you ought to pay. i do it from the market, capitalist model. be you -- you know, what my libl
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friends think, that it's a constrained type. in other words, you can't grow, so we've got to get involved, and we've got to make sure everyone has free access, and then we're eventually going to have to regulate and have a police on the beat and make sure no one's -- i would like to be able to especially for commercial products like movies, if you really want that product be, send a market signal. ie, a fee or a charge so that you incentivize buildout, more buildout. that's what you really want. you want more pipes, not less. and i've used this numerous times in committee hearings and that way to segway to the debate. no one's ever come back and said, oh, it doesn't work for that. but you hear the debate, and so it's against a restricted supply versus more. and i'm always going to be on the side of more. the capital flow, have a market signal, build a lot more pipe, then everybody can get more. it's a great world, great
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country the you let it work. but if you say, to oh, no, government's got to watch it and incentivize and make sure -- it won't work. >> host: the other half of what the fcc is working on is the potential reclassification of the internet as title ii common carrier. a, is that going to happen and, b, what are your thoughts? >> guest: well, i hope it doesn't happen, it's a terrible idea. you know, it's using the debate of using law passed in the '30s to deal with cable and internet and classifying under title ii, and make it really a utility. again, no one can look at me with a straight face and say that the internet, communications system over the past since i've been here in congress, 18 years, has moved exponentially. there's more choices, there's more capabilities, there's more ability. why in the world would you want to bring it under federal regulatory regime?
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it's crazy. >> host: john shimkus, republican of illinois. this is "the communicators" on c-span. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a lick service by your local -- public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> next, a house hearing with astronauts testifying from aboard the international space station. after that a conversation with dan fifer, senior adviser to president obama. then the bbc looks at the significant actions in the recent session of the british parliament. >> the house science, space and technology committee held a hearing thursday to talk with two astronauts aboard the international space station. commander steven swanson and flight engineer reid weissman spoke about life on the iss and the research and experiments they're conducting as part of their mission. this is 35 minutes.
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[inaudible conversations] >> we're going to go on and start because time and the astronauts wait for no one. the down link is going to begin promptly at 11:20, and we have a number of things to do between now and then. and i'll recognize myself, first, for an opening statement. good morning and welcome to today's event with two american astronauts direct from the international space station. through satellite communications, we will speak with nasa astronauts steve swanson and reid wiseman on the international space station 260 miles above us, traveling at
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17,000 miles per hour. for over 13 years, nasa astronauts have lived and worked on the space station, perhaps the greatest engineering achievement in human history. the space station is roughly the size of a football field including the end zones. it has more livable space than a five-bedroom house along with science laboratories that will allow six astronauts to live and work there. the astronauts today include two americans, three russians and one european. steve swanson and reid wiseman will speak to us today from the destiny lab where they are conducting scientific experiments on weightlessness in space. aboard the space station we can develop new materials and medicines that will make their way into the commercial products that we use here on earth. the technology spin-offs from america's space program has significantly impacted our economy and improved our way of life. from the microchips in our computers to lightweight metal
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alloys used in our cars to touchpad screens on our ipads. more importantly, the station is a place to test new technologies that could assist future astronauts when they venture to mars and other moons and planets throughout our solar system. space inspires future generations to dream big and work hard. astronauts serve as role models to inspire students to study science, math and engineering. they also encourage scientists to develop the innovations that keep our economy strong and insure that america remains globally competitive. but space is about much more than the tangible benefits of the technology spin-offs that improve our lives here on earth. our accomplishments in space remind americans of some of our greatest accomplishments. many americans remember where they were 45 years ago last sunday when apollo 11 landed on the moon. the first footprints on the
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moon's surface were made by americans. the u.s. should always lead the way in space exploration. space amazes us and spurs our curiosity about what's out there. it also inspires us and makes us want to push our mental and physical boundaries and encourages us to speak answers to -- to seek answers to timeless questions about life, our existence and the meaning of it all. we can thank nasa, both at johnson space center in houston, texas, and here at their headquarters in washington, d.c., for their hard work in making this downlink possible. also after today's event there will be a showcase of iss hardware and research presented by nasa, the center for the advancement of science in space and the national space biomedical research institute. these organizations are leading the way in microgravity research and utilization of the international space station. it will be next door in room
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2325 down the hall. so, please, go take a look and listen to the round table discussion that will be held. i'll now recognize the ranking member, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. johnson, for her opening statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and let me welcome our audience and also welcome our former chairman of this committee that just came in, mr. garden. i'm looking forward to hearing from our astronauts today about life on the international space station and the challenges and opportunities they face. i hope that we can follow today's event with a formal hearing at a later date that will allow a more comprehensive examination of the international space station and its utilization this support of exploration as well as for basic and applied research. as you know, the past -- this past weekend the 45th anniversary of the first humans landing on the moon. it was a bold achievement as was
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the more recent assembly of the international space station. the success of both of these ventures depended on the dedication and bravery of past and present members of the astronaut corps. in spite of the risk, they willingly face in the name of science and exploration. i hope that all members join me in saluting them. while the road to the completion was a long one, the international space station stands as one of the emerging marvels of the modern age and a testament to american ingenuity and perseverance. in addition, the international partnership of the international space station has stood the test of time, providing a foundation for future long-term space partnerships. the international space station has great inspirational value for our young people, and you see many of them here. as evidenced by the intense interest of our students in
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talking to the orbiting astronauts and the developing science projects that may fly on the station, i have lots of that interest from my district. yet the stark reality is that the international space station is a perishable commodity, and the future is now. in terms of utilizing this unique facility. while i welcome the president's proposal to extend the international space station operations to at least 2024, we need to make sure that the years that are available are used effectively to answer the research and engineering questions that can only be answered on the international space station. i'd like to make one more point. if we want to insure that the international space station carries out the needed research and technology activities in a timely and productive fashion, we have to be willing to make the needed investments. the international space station
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research budget is stag nailing -- stagnating, and the agency's life and microgravity science's budget has been cut deeply over the past decade. the appropriated funding for biological and physical research in fiscal year 2014 accounts for less than 3% of the total international space station funding. clearly, this is a situation congress and must rectify. in closing, i look forward to today's downlink and the opportunity to hear from our astronauts. i thank you and yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, ms. johnson. and i'm going to introduce our astronauts now. the first is astronaut steve swanson who joined nasa as a flight engineer on the shuttle training aircraft in 1998. later that year he was selected as a mission specialist. this is dr. swanson's third space flight. he launched earlier this year along with two russian cosmonauts, all three are expected to return to earth in september.
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dr. swanson received his bachelor of science in engineering, physics at the university of colorado, a master's of applied science and computer systems from florida atlantic university and his doctorate in computer science from texas a&m university. astronaut reid wiseman began his career in the military as a naval aviator. following his initial training, he made two deployment toss the middle east supporting operation southern washington, enduring freedom and iraqi freedom. commander wiseman was selected for the astronaut program in 2009 while he was deployed to the middle east. you may recognize commander wiseman from the many photos that he tweets from the international space station. his twitter account, astroreid, has over 160,000 followers. commander wiseman earned his bachelor of science degree in computer and systems engineering from the oldty tech nick -- polytechnic institute and a master of science degree from
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johns hopkins university. let me go now to sort of the mechanics as to how this is going to work and, first of all, let me thank the members who are present here for their interest, and many of them for their participation as well. we will do our best to move through questions and answers as efficiently as possible. questions for the astronauts today will alternate between the majority and minority. each side will be a total of ten minutes, and members recognized will have two minutes each. and let me say to the extent that members can be brief, we won't go over that two minute limit per member, and then all mens or more members will be able to ask questions. otherwise there will be fewer members. there's a harold, hard, fast 20 -- hard, hard, fast 20 minute total, and that's why there's only ten minutes on a side. i have participated in downlinks in the past, so i will forgo my question, and hopefully this will allow time for another
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member. we have a few moments before we start the downlink process, and as a reminder, when you speak to the astronauts, press your talk button, wait a couple of seconds and then speak. you have to wait for the transmission to get to the station and back. once you are finished with your question, please turn the microphone off and wait for a response. this is so that the astronauts do not get feedback on their side. most importantly, please do not interrupt the astronauts while they are speaking. the delay in transmission does not permit fluid back and forth conversations, so must be nice to be an astronaut and not be interrupted. [laughter] all right. we've now, we've now come to a time where we are going to wait just a few minutes for the downlink to begin, and so we're just going to have a pause here. this is dangerous to allow so much quiet with so many members here. maybe i should say no one's
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going to be recognized for improvisations or jokes, so we'll just have to be patient and wait for the downlink. and, again, thank not only the members for being here, but it's nice to see a full house in the audience as well. this is a special occasion. i don't think this has been done in congress for many, many years, and it's just a, it's a nice thing to witness firsthand. it's historic in lots of ways. and, again, i do think the international space station is probably our greatest engineering feat, and we'll see it and the astronauts in action today. with that -- >> mr. chairman -- >> this is exactly what i was worried about. [laughter] >> maybe former chairman ralph hall can entertain us with a few stories from the great state of texas. [laughter] >> well -- >> you copp give me enough -- you couldn't give me enough
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time. [laughter] >> thank you, ralph. we'll wait just a minute. [laughter] >> outstanding. house committee on science, space and technology, this is mission control, houston. please call station for a voice check. >> how do you hear me? >> we have you loud and clear. >> okay, that is great. the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher, will be recognized for a quick question. >> this is congressman dana rohrabacher, and i appreciate this opportunity to ask you a direct question, and i'm sure -- well, you may have seen the movie with sandra bullock just had a movie called "gravity,"
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and it dealt with the whole idea of space debris. and i was wondering if you might be able to give us an understanding of the challenge of space debris, how the space station deals with it and if there's some other challenges like that that we may not be thinking about here that we have to deal with before we build a new station in space in the years ahead. >> it's a good question, congressman. yes, we do have to worry about space debris here. as a matter of fact, a couple nights ago we had to do a debris avoidance maneuver when we realized that there was going to be a piece of debris close to our path. so we, luckily, mission control has a good program set up, so when they see that, they go ahead and execute it, and within a few hours, we're out of harm's way. and we have people on the ground who monomonitor that for us, and they know where everything is, where the debris is and where we
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are, and they can track that and keep us safe. >> the egypt -- gentlewoman from texas, ms. johnson, ranking member of this committee, is recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and greetings to commander wiseman and dr. swanson. it's a lot of excitement be on this end watching you. i'd like both of you to comment on the aspects of international space station program that's most important in enabling human space exploration beyond the earth orbit. >> oh, i don't want to take your entire day up. i could talk about this subject forever. really it's getting humans into low earth orbit and having us live up here right now for six months at a time. in just a little over a year, we'll have scott kelly up here for an entire year. and it's all the things that happen to the human body and also what our space craft needs
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to provide to us like oxygen to breathe, water to drink, all of the food, the supplies and just running this machine through its paces over six months or even a year at a time. that's what we're going to need when we go onward to mars and spend two or three years in space. so we need to test all this stuff now on the space station so that in a decade or so we can had on to mars -- head on to mars and have a successful journey. >> the gentleman from texas, mr. hall, is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i thank you for linking our committee to these two astronauts, commander wiseman and dr. swanson. i remember the house floor debate on june 23rd, 1993, in this committee, in this room when this committee came within one vote of killing the space station. congressman markey had fought for forever. our argument made on behalf of the space station was the importance of providing something tangible that our children can dream about and then aim their education, their careers toward. so i'll just ask a simple
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question, how do you think the space station has inspired young people and give us some examples of efforts on the space station to engage young people and inspire them to pursue s.t.e.m. education? what would you say to be the space station's greatest legacy? i yield back. >> oh, i do agree with you tremendously about the s.t.e.m. program. matter of fact, one of the things i did before i got here was work on spheres with students in the local high school, and that's what we do. it's an experiment we have up here. and the kids themselves get to program the spheres satellites that float around here, and they have competitions. and i just saw it on the kids' faces when they got to have their program run on the station, they got so enthused about science and technology, it was fantastic. >> the gent l woman from maryland, ms. edwards, is recognized. >> are thank you very much, and thank you so much. i have to tell you, i am so excited. i wish i could be you when i
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grow up. [laughter] my question and greetings to reid wiseman, a fellow marylander. you know, we'll package some freeze-dried crab cakes for you up there. i wonder if you could, if you could tell us -- [laughter] i got that signal. i wonder if you could tell us, though, the importance of the work that you do and how you are inspired to join the space program. what inspired you? because i think it is really a challenge for us to figure out what inspires the next generation of explorers. >> that's a great question, and i think back to my childhood, and certainly it was when the space shuttle was just being developed and launched back in 1981. i was around 6 years old at the time, and i definitely remember a 747 flying over maryland, and
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we had gone up to the top of the hill for the simple act of watching a space shuttle fly over on the back of a 747 as they were transporting it. and that image is burned into my mind. that probably started the course that i was on to become not only a navy pilot, pilot and then an astronaut. so, to me, we never know as adults, we never know that little thing that's going to spark the imaginations of a child's mind. for me, it was that simple act of being with my parents, and that's what sparked my imagination. as much as we can from up here and nasa on the ground to reach out to kids and just expose them to this world, this s.t.e.m. world that's in motion, i think you never know when you're going to spark their imagination, and i'm sure that we're doing it every day. >> the gentleman from mississippi, mr. palazzo, is recognized. >> hey, reid and steve, thanks for talking to us today. hopefully, the chairman of the full committee will allow us to have a congressional trip to the space station in the near future. [laughter]
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i have a question for you from one of my constituents in south mississippi. suzanne would like to know how do you deal with the incredible solitude for the length of your respective missions? >> that is an interesting question. each person probably does it a little differently. one of the things we like to do i think that helps keep us calm and motivated at the same time is look out the window at our beautiful planet. when we have free time, we always go over to this window we have called a cupola, it's basically like the glass-bottomed boat of a ship, and we look down on earth, and it's fantastic. and i think that's what keeps us going, just looking at our beautiful planet. >> the gentleman from california, mr. peters, is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and hello, gentlemen. i had a question for you, for our committee. we struggle a lot with how to maintain the country's lead in science. i wondered if you could give us your perspective on how
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important space exploration and research is to maintaining our nation's lead in science. >> well, certainly it's right at the cutting edge. and this is just one of our many pieces, i guess, in our overall u.s. portfolio of leading this technological revolution that we're living day-to-day. and so i don't know right here just off our screen to the right, there's the arm of robonaut, and he's hanging out, we just had him out last night to do some upgrades, and we'll bring it out and get it in full operation here maybe even with a set of legs down the road. so the work we're doing up here is right on the cutting edge, but that's just one small piece across our entire country of what's going on. and a lot of it is thanks to government funding and pumping money into this research that's critical for our nation not just five years down the road, but 50 and 100 years down the road to stay on the cutting edge. >> the gentleman from alabama,
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mr. brooks, is recognized. >> dr. swanson, commander wiseman, hi, i'm moe brooks from alabama's fifth district, the home of the marshall space flight center. as a child, i grew up feeling the ground shake as the saturn v rocket was tested nearby, and i vividly remember apollo 11 when neil armstrong declared one small step for man, one giant leap for man kind. the apollo program was american exceptionalism at its best. it made us all proud to be americans. my question is, what mission should america's space program next embark on to be the next giant leap for man kind? [laughter] >> yes, i believe we should get ourselves to mars. i know it's a difficult road ahead to get there, but i believe we can do it, and this is one of the first blocks that we have to do is learn how to live in space and recycle everything we need to from
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water, air, everything we need to do, bring -- grow our own food, all that kind of stuff so we can reduce the amount of supplies with us, create a robust system. and right here we're starting it off. we probably have to do a few other steps, but i think going to mars is our main goal. >> the gentlewoman from massachusetts, ms. clark, is recognized. >> thank you. it is great to be here. i have some questions from the compass summer program students in cambridge, massachusetts. they submitted over 40 questions, so i'll be quick. [laughter] from dante, how do you pack? do you bring a suitcase, and what's the temperature? from chloe, what fuel do you use to support the space shuttle? and from luke, has anyone had a birthday, and if so, how did you celebrate? [laughter] >> okay.
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so we pack in a very, very small suitcase. it's about that big, we get about one and a half kilograms. the fuel that we use, well, for our rocket ship we basically used kerosene and oxygen to get up here, and once we're on the space station, we have a hyperbolic fuel mix, but we don't have to burn our engines very often. we did have a russian crew mate who had a birthday, and right behind the camera we have a dinner table, and we all gathered around, all six of us, and we share u.s. food, european food, russian food. some of our juices, some of the russian teas are very nice, and we just joined together and have a really, a really great evening. unfortunately, i don't think there were any presents to unwrap, but, sasha, i think he was happy enough, so it was a great event. >> the gentleman from florida, mr. posey, is recognized. >> dr. swanson and commander wiseman, sometimes it's hard for americans to understand why
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human space exploration so -- is so important. can you take a moment to explain how the work you're doing now on the international space station benefits americans? what are you up to? >> i think there are a few different ways to look at that question. one, we are doing research right now on a scientific aspect. we do some burning new ways to learn how actual fire works and the details part of it. we do medical research up here. we've just, through station research, we've come up with ways to get chemotherapy to target areas of the body more effectively. just one of an example. the other thing you have to look at is that humans are meant to explore, i believe, and this is one path that we need to take, and now we're starting off, and this fulfills that idea, i think, for just the whole race of humans, and that's one thing we need to do. and the other aspect, i believe this is a really good
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investment. a lot of spin-off technologies come out of this. it creates economy, so it's good for the economy, it creates money for our country, and it creates a better world for all of us. >> the gentleman from washington, mr. killer kill -- mr. kilmer, is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for being with us. i have two quick questions that came from the young gentleman behind me. [laughter] finish one is just trying to get a sense more of how the space station plays into the effort to go to mars and a little bit more specific about what the utility is of the space station. and he also wants to know as we look out into this century, what's on the horizon? what other new frontiers do you think we're going to visit? he also wants to know how many other planets are we going to discover? is that right? all right. [laughter] >> well, let's start with the, let's start with the end
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question, how many planets. limitless. it just depends on how good our sensors get in our lifetime as to how many we're going to discover. perhaps every time you look up at night at any star, you're got to think there's a solar system around that star, so it just blows my mind, i know. for the space station and how does this play into our long duration missions, if we're going to go to mars, we're going to set out on a three-plus-year journey, and if you have one major system break without spares on that journey -- and that could be your own human body, that could be be your environmental control system, that could be your engine, your solar rays -- any piece of that puzzle falls apart, and thousand you've lost your mission to mars. so this is where we start the fundamental blocking and tackling of this challenge to get to mars. and i think that research is being done right now, and we're seeing very successful results. our water balance is almost at 90, so we recycle our urine into drinking water, we recycle water into oxygen.
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we have a really amazing regenerative system, and it's proving extremely effective, and we're working on reliability. that's another step in that quest. and i hope that covers enough of your question. [laughter] >> the gentleman from texas, mr. stockman. >> thank you for having this broadcast today. as you're my constituents, i appreciate what you're doing. i'm also crowd of our country and our support of you, but some of you may know that up here it's not universal support which i think is a mistake. and what would you, if you were me, what would you tell my colleagues why they should be supportive of your efforts and why we should vote three times the amount of money we're supporting right now? or four times. i don't care. [laughter] >> i would with happy with twice, but that's a good question.
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that's a really good question really because, again, it goes back to what do we provide for the taxpayer, and i do think, one, we provide research and development. that's what we get out of this. we get new products, new ideas, new science, new research which always helps the country in the future maybe 10, 15 years down the road. and, again, that creates new companies which, again, is better for the economy. we inspire a new generation which hopefully gets them to be productive and help out and headache our country stronger, and -- and make our country stronger and we, again, are explorers which helps the whole human race. i would go with those points. >> the gentleman from california, mr. swalwell. >> hello, and my questions today come from the bay area, and i have three young, aspiring astronauts with questions. shea daly of san ramon, phoebe wruns, and julia warren of castro valley. the first question is an easy one for commander wiseman, and that is what is your favorite food in space? and also for dr. swanson, the
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question is do you think one day we'll encounter life from another planet? >> you go first. >> okay. i am a food lover, but there is one particular food when they open the desserts box, all chocolate pudding cake goes directly to reid wiseman's locker. and so i am hoarding chocolate pudding cake. i tried it on earth earth and it like it that much, but there's something about it up here that i can't get enough of. i'll pass it to dr. swanson. >> for the follow-on question, i have to say, yes. as reid pointed out, as you look up, there's so many solar systems, so many planets, so many possibilities, i figure there has to be somewhere and sometime it happen. >> the gentleman from arizona, mr. schweikert, is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and a texan on my staff wants me to
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say howdy. in your experience so far, what have you find that has -- what have you found that has surprised you that's robust, has held up quite well on the space station and what have you found that is fragile that you see we're going to have to do future reengineering of? >> so i would lead that off, sir, with space flight, and i've known the space station for many, many years. we're into our 5,000th-plus day of ops up here, and one of the first things that struck me is i expected to see an aging system, i expected it to be -- well, i don't know from the tv maybe it does look messy to you, but every one of these wires has a purpose. and when i got up here, i realized this is a brilliant laboratory. it's an overall in amazing shape. it's been very well cared for, and i think it's, basically, a testament to the engineering that went in, the robustness of
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the design that here we've been operating 5,000 day, and this thing looks like a brand new machine up here. very impressive from that aspect. some things that aren't quite as reliable, the things that have surprised me a little bit is you really get to see how quickly technology on earth develops when you come up here. this was developed in the '80s and '90s, and really you do see ether net cables running all around the outside because we didn't necessarily have that technology when they built it. we just flew up some tablets and, i mean, there's a device that a year ago i hardly even knew, and now at home i can barely live without. so just building on these technologies as we go over time has been somewhat of a surprise. you can see the evolution of technology up here, and so that's something in future designs i don't even know how you account for that, but it's something we'll have to look at. >> the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized probably for the last question. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the students of waterbury, connecticut, want to know what they can best do to become astronauts of the future.
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>> well, of course, it always goes with study harold. you have to do well in school, that's a given if. and also it's find something you're really passionate about in life. of course, it helps if it's science, technology or engineering to get this job, but you find an area in there that you're passionate about, do it well, enjoy it, and that will show when you go and try to become an astronaut, and that's what they're really looking for, somebody who's passionate about the things they do. >> unfortunately, we are out of time. the astronauts are out of time. we want to thank you both for spending 20 minutes with us today. appreciate all your answers to the questions. we look forward to supporting you in the future. we'll talk again. [applause] >> thank you all very much. [applause]
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>> thank you, committee members. >> just a reminder, please go to room 2325 down the hall for the showcase on the iss hardware and the research presented by nasa, and thank you all again for being here today. this was a special event. [inaudible conversations] ..
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scheduled speakers include national security advisor susan rice, house speaker john boehner, house majority leader kevin mccarthy and israeli ambassador to the u.s. you can watch that live today at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> on the communicate us tonight, two members of congress talk about the technology legislation. >> we crafted anonymity that said this, under 702 of the act, you can collect data, and you now know from the snowden disclosures that it's a lot of
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data, that may also include the information of americans even though that can't be the purpose of the collection of the data. the amendment simply says was that if you want to search about lawfully acquired database for americans, you should get a warrant. not that you can get the information, get a warrant. >> the basic premise of the dot com act is to make sure that when the nation, the releases of the last control oversight over the domain name system, that we know what we're getting ourselves into. >> democratic representative from california zoe lofgren an illinois republican representative john shimkus tonight at eight eastern on of "the communicators" on c-span2. >> on friday president obama's senior advisor, dan pfeiffer, said he would not discount the possibility of republicans pursuing impeachment of the
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president if he takes executive action on immigration reform. he made these works of the "christian science monitor" breakfast in washington, d.c. of the topics included sanctions on russia, unaccounted immigrant children and the 2014 and 2016 elections. the "christian science monitor" bureau chief is david cook. bureau chief is david kopecky moderated the one-hour event. >> okay. here we go. he chrve cook from the "christian science monitor." thanks for coming.r our guest today is dan pfeiffer, assistant to the president andoo senior advisor who was here almost exactly a year ago. is a wilmington, delaware, native and at georgetowniversitg university grad who byra age 24g already operate on the national stage as a spokesman for al gore's presidential campaign.esl he alscao worked for senator ti, johnson, tom daschle and evan bayh before joining barack obama
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presidential campaign. . before taking on his current role, he was deputy communications director and later communications director for president obama. so much for biography. now onto the exciting matters of process. we are on the record here. please, no filing of any kind while the breakfast is underway to give us time to listen to what the guest actually says. there is no embargo when the session ends. you help you kurds that we willss selfie urge, send photos as soon as the breakfast ends. question,ike to ask a we send me a subtle, nonthreatening signal. will happily call on one and all during the time we have available. let me offer our guest the opportunity to make some opening comments. and we will move to questions. thanks again for doing this, dan. >> thanks for having me. the onlyhis is
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tweeting free zone and all of washington. let me start with a few opening remarks. began .14, the president declared it the year of action. forgoal here was -- to look ways to work with congress. it had become pretty clear by the end of 2013 that congress was pretty broken because the republican majority was in the thrall of the right wing. thee were going to advance progressive agenda it was -- it would be through executive action. pollution, toon ,upport minimum wage increase things in the area around skills and education. leading up to at the end of the summer and executive action on dealing with a broken immigration system. because one, this
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is how you govern during a time of divided congress. tocan't expect republicans step across the line. congress has become so gridlocked. whene dealing at a time there is tremendous frustration with a lack of action in washington. we want to make sure that the american people know that the president will act. we expected that we would get a reaction from republicans. there, as we went out you hear cries of imperial presidency, etc. we did not presume they would sue the president, but in some ways that is a validation of the idea that the executive actions we have taken are far from the small ball that accused it of being, but instead have forced the republicans to take in nearly
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unprecedented step of suing the president. that is going to come to fruition in the next week as a house will vote next week to authorize that lawsuit. aat is not going to cause loss of wind in our sails. said, at the end of the summer, as the president promised because of congress is lack of action in immigration reform, he will do what he can within his power. i suspect i will generate a reactionrly aggressive from the republicans, perhaps one that exceeds any other executive action. that pathoceed with this summer, pushing on executive actions, because we think we're making a very real difference in setting up the contrast with the least productive republican congress in history. with that, let me take your questions. let me ask you first about
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republicans and compassion. the top republicans are staking out positions to appeal to a more compassionate approach. rand paul is making a speech today on improving education and reforming the criminal justice system. yesterday, house budget chair ryan talked about steps to reduce poverty. a couple of those echoed proposals the president made to increase tax credits for the working poor and to lower the eligibility age. what do you make of the ryan proposal and the more general shift in republican approach. will it have any effect in your view? >> is good the republicans are
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engaging in a conversation about the working poor and trying to republicans adamantly refused to talk about that in the last election. there are potential areas for compromise in both ryan's proposal in which he proposes measures supported by the president. paul ryan has proposed endorsing some of the criminal justice reforms the president has talked about. >> my boss just called, i have been laid off. >> in his conversation will be very useful for you. the challenge here is, the ryan proposals are still in the context of a budget that chooses balance a budget on the backs
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of the poor and those who need assistance. we need a fundamental shift in republican thinking. we can look for compromise if they choose to join the conversation on a different level. i don't think rhetoric is going to get -- i think you can say this basket of issues and at the same time support national cuts to medicaid and food stamps and turning medicare into vouchers. that will supersede your rhetoric. there's a fundamental recognition in the republican party, at least among some, that these top-down economic support for those at the very top of corporations is a hallmark of the republicans and the romney particular, is a
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loser. >> there was criticism to the president's response to the shooting down of the malaysian airliner terror time magazine is running a cover this week entitled in russia, crime without punishment. is not particular positive, talking about the president being detached, but there were even critics within with three senate committee chairs sending him a letter asking him to impose broad sanctions and seeking swift action. my question is, how would you assess the president's record so far dealing with the threats posed by routine yet -- by president putin? >> i think the first part of -- we live in a very polarized, pollard -- partisan time. everything a president does will be criticized by the other side. actual minutes from the
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around the malaysian andiner when john mccain lindsey graham are out criticizing the president for it. -- there are people who criticize a present -- the president for getting up in the morning. if there is a different approach, i suspect that charles krauthammer and others will be ing us for that. i think it is important to recognize that there is this mythology, certainly among the right, where you have republicans reading president putin's talking points as if this were some sort of brilliant strategy. it is certainly clear that everything that russia has done is not understrength. the ukraine has been in orbit for a long time, choosing to
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side with the west over russia and thenmaking -- russia responding in a way that damaged their economy, isolated them further in the world. you see growing pressure on because of the economic hit they have taken because of sanctions. i think it is important to recognize that way we approach this is that sanctions work best when the world is united. we are working in concert with the europeans. not workinges means at the speed of the new cycle that cable news response. you can have good press coverage but not have the substantive impact. that is a challenge of foreign affairs in this partisan, hyperactive political mediation. these are competent issues that take complicated nuanced issues that take time.
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those strategies don't always dovetail with the demand for immediate response. the second part of your question, the question we ask ourselves in any of the situations where there is a world event in the president is out on the road, is does -- is a substantive reason he needs to come back? -- if such a reason exists, he will come back. many of you pack your bags and go on a trip that is been canceled for reasons -- most notably around the government shutdown and possible default that is happily couple of times. we asked the question, that was clearly not the case last week. i think it is important that the american people expect the president to be able to do more than one thing at once. if we -- if canceling a trip and flying back here and sitting in
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the white house during the exact same thing we would've been doing from the road, maybe tactically smart in getting good press coverage, but strategically stupid because the next time you don't come back, "why did youll be not come back that time? " in terms of public approval stop canwhat kind of you put to them at all? see a drop in public approval as reflection of the presidents performance or by extension your own? -- i put muchk less stock in public polling than i do in private polling that i see. that was born out in the 2012 election for the difference there. --hink that if you look at
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the long arc of it, the president's approval rating has traveled in a fairly narrow band of about 4-5 points. there've been a couple of peaks right after the first election, right after the second election, after the bin laden rate, but generally we have been in the same spot. i think our approval rating is in the average of polls. there is one point -- it is one point off what was in 2010. we have been higher and a little bit lower. there is no question that everyone in washington, the president included, took a hit of thehe combination debate over syria, the and thent shutdown, the healthcare.gov problems. we had worked our way back to up, about a point in my through the first half of this year and what we have had -- the challenge we have had over the itt several months is that
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is a continuous cascade of events around the world. become problematic in terms of public opinion is that they serve as a blocker to message. ,f you turn on the news american people are incredibly focused on the economy. they turn on the news and what iraq, more ukraine, ukraine, and a whole host of other things. that is not a criticism of coverage. those are all legitimate issues, but it makes it very hard to get our message out. i think we have based some project -- some progress on taking a step back. as we get into the fall and there is a sharper contrast between the presidents approval -- that would be helpful. i think it is worth noting that
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over the course of the last many years, there has been every institution has suffered in public polling. it has a lot to do with people's overall mentality. frustration with washington, the congressional republicans would kill for our numbers. that gives you a sense of where we are. >> anita? to margaret.go i'm sorry, my fault, out of order. >> i want to get back to the year of action where you all put out this six-month or midway review of this year. i went through and looked at some of those. i wrote a story about it last .eek, about some of them for example my brothers keeper had been on the twice. some were granted you had artie been offering two groups. were private sector things that businesses are not even doing, even though you all supported.
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get as i just wanted to response to the opposite, which is that some of them are small. can you respond to that? the second part of the question is, i try to get a response from the white house and i didn't. it was declined. know that person was, but. . . .. what is the point of not responding to that when the media is pushing? >> imitate the first part. , if you look are at the array of execut action the couof actions over the course of this year there are a lot that are very large and some that are smaller. you will have the moment, have singles over the course of the whole thing. i think as i said in the
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beginning if they were small ball, the republicans would not be suing us over b them. and i think there's no question that around the minimum wage, around equal pay, around lgbt, nondiscrimination bill the presence signed last week. certainly what we've done arounw connect ed in schools and the greenhouse gas revelation come these are all very, very big business but in each of those pr lasts i mentioned the present has done more than the lesser of congress have done combined. los on the sort of things that american people are interested in, the only place that is happening right now is in the white house because of a dash of republican obstruction. i don't know why some and didn't respond to you, that is not our strategies. y. we're dealing with an array of things it anyone time. that may have fallen through the cracks.
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about theto talk child immigration problem and the solutions you're looking at. us on interesting story today about a potential plan for all i wanted toch is -- talk about both in connection with a series action. what is the kind of executive action you can use to push immigration policy? are you guys looking at just doing stuff and saying go ahead and sue us anyway? does honduras seem like a different case? broadly, children have always been broken off as a different piece of immigration. , theream act, the military trend now across central america is forcing them to take a different posture.
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i was wondering how that would come out. >> on the first part of your question, there are some things the -- in the ope" the new york times. is rejectingm legal claims. that will be what guides how we handle this. in terms of executive action, i think what is interesting about what is happened at the border is this got tremendous attention, as it should. that has raised awareness in the research i've seen, tremendous awareness of immigration is an issue and increase the urgency
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that our people feel and fixing it. i think that gives us broad permission to take what executive action we can to help fix a broken immigration system, because they're frustrated that congress will not act. taking executive action along the lines of what the president was talking about in the rose garden a few weeks ago would allow us to redirect resources to the border to deal with it very that is particularly important because a house republicans have decided that they're going to head home for the month of august without the president supplemental request, which is exhibit 1000 in the case of the broken republican congress. what we do in case on all ofs, the test these things is are we on solid legal footing. the president insists that that analysis is done before we take any executive action. now, i don't think that is going to stop the republicans from necessarily suing us, so we do what we think we should, not what we think drives the republicans.
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>> should we expect more executive actions on immigration specifically and just to clarify on the honduras, the story was right, it's not locked down, but they broadly described what he is considering, right? >> i'm not going to get into details of things that may or may not be floating around out there. if there are, others will make announcements on that. >> so yes? [laughter] >> so what i just said. obviously the president has said he wants to take executive action, what he can do within his authority as soon as possible. he is waiting for, he tasked the attorney general and the security of homeland security to come back at the end of the summer. that will be a very important step substantively. a pretty important step as you look at the arc of the
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presidency and what happens when he takes that action. >> susan. >> dan, you have this very rare perspective because you have been there from day one at the white house. you and valerie, anyone else in the senior rankings? >> we are the only ones left. >> i wonder if you can talk about how the second term is different from the first term in terms of both how the president can operate in washington and how he can operate around the world, is the second term different than the first term? >> i think, yes, it is different. part of the difference is just the president has been here longer. we have all been here longer. that gives us additional perspective. there are things that would have caused us to set our hair on fire in the first term that we now know are fleeting things. we can separate the noise and we talked about this earlier, when secretary gates' book came out in the first term, there would have been 1,000 meetings and we
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would have spent all night having all of these tgs. now you recognize that these books flush through the system pretty quickly. i don't thipeople do too much sweating over that. the one thing i can say for myself personally in this is that probably every day from the midterms in 2010 until electi on night in 2012, there was some part of the day where i thought about the possibility of losing and not having that -- i woke up the morning after feeling lighter and not having that thought in your head is different. the other thing i would say about this is you, in all of these cases, you do what you think is substantively right. the re-election serves as a strategic felter as you think about things. you think every decision, particularly in this environment, even if this is a completely right thing, you got to be away that karl rove or the koch brothers can buy ads distorting what you just did.
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then you think about the long game. i spend more time in the second term thinking about how is barack obama going to feel about this decision 10 years, 15 years, 20 years from now when he hanging out in the presidential library. there is a little more thing about the long-term aspects of each individual decision and the short-term politics are incredibly important, the substance is incredibly important, you build a longer perspective. >> sarah. >> going back to the executive action, many of the executive actions is -- >> can you be a little louder,
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the aged among us. >> sorry. so many of the executive actions the president will keep democratic authorities, lbgt action, immigration, equal pay, i was wondering how much of the politics of 2014 influenced the decisions he brought us? >> i'm not going to say that politics plays no role in the decision-making process. as you weigh equities in any individual decision, i think this is not unique to this white house or any white house or any politician around the world, politics are inequity. a lot of times, a lot of times to my chagrin that the other equities will beat out politics and you'll do things that may have consequences in the elections, but it's the right thing to do, so you have to do it. we have to think about it. i wouldn't tell you we don't. at the end of the day, he is not going to do something he disagrees with substantively because it's good politics.
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we took a lot of heat in the first term because they were bad politics at the time, bailing out the auto industry, helping president bush pass the tarp before we were even sworn in office. anyone with half a political sense would know that would be really bad for us. you can make an argument, taking on health care, one of the most divisive issues wasn't good politics. we weigh those issues and sometimes we decide the politics, the bad politics is worth doing because it's the right thing to do. >> let me do a time check here. we're halfway through. we're coming to lauren, reed, paul, susan, sam, alex, david, alexis, francine, lynn, and todd. >> the basic message here is give shorter answers? >> no, if you play your cards right, you don't get to face a
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question -- >> when it's hot. >> when does sam come up? >> lauren. [laughter] >> i wanted to ask, in terms of the executive action on immigration that we might have at the end of the summer, do you expect the president will be weighing the children who are coming across the border now or do you expect it will be wider action that affects families or others? >> i don't want to -- we haven't gotten the report back from the attorney general and second johnson, so i don't want to get too far ahead of it. we have two separate issues, separate but related issues. one is we have a specific challenge at one portion of the border in the rio grande valley and we have to deal with that and that requires sending additional resources, both redirecting resources and asking for new resources from congress, so we're dealing with that.
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secondly, we have to deal with -- you know we were talking about executive action around immigration long before we had the specific challenge to the border. obviously what is happening at the border is part of the backdrop for the decision for the thinking behind this decision will make, i think it will probably increase the angry reaction from republicans. you already have senator cruz threats saying that he will not allow there to be a vote on the immigration bill unless we agree to deport all of the dreamers who have received deferred action under the president's executive action in 2012. i think that speaks to both the tremendous cross currents in the republican party on immigration reform where you have people like john mccain and lindsey graham, others in the republican house who have been very open about immigration reform and a nativist tendency that has been very damaging to the republican party politically.
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we talk about the lawsuit and then you have sarah palin out there talking about impeachment. i saw a poll today that had a huge portion of the republican party base saying they support impeaching the president. a lot of people in this town laugh that off. i think it is, i would not discount that possibility. i think that speaker boehner by going down the path of this lawsuit has opened the door to republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future. i think that the president acting on immigration reform will certainly up the likelihood that they would contemplate impeachment at some point. >> they really came down and i
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think we heard a little bit about what you guys plan to do with the college issue with the nonprofits. i'm curious how the administration plans to act if you do executively to fill the coverage gap for the female employees of for profit corporations who were immediately affected, i think there were a few thousand and up to millions could be. what do you plan to do about that? >> i think the first best solution here is congressional action. we supported the legislation in the senate that was voted down in the last couple of weeks here. we are going to keep pushing for that. i don't want to preview anything here yet, but we're looking at what our options are. like i said, congressional action is first best if unlikely in this environment but we'll keep pushing for that because that's the best way to do this. >> do you have any sort of time frame as when you might
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announce? >> we're working as quickly as possible. i don't have a date as to when the announcement. people are analyzing the situation and see what there is to do. >> reed. >> dan, how long do you expect to stay in the white house and have you told the president when you expect to leave? >> no, only because i don't know the answer to that question. i'm there as long as certainly -- as long as he wants me to stay. i say this. i'm there as long as he wants me to stay with one caveat which is i think my practice has been at the end -- as susan pointed out, i have been there for a very long time, which you can all judge whether that's a question of endurance or stubbornness. at the end of every year to take
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a look and see whether i still have the fire in me, whether i still feel the -- i think during any given day, if you can go spend a day in the white house and not feel the excitement and thrill and opportunity of that job and the place where you are and the history and opportunity to do so much good for people, then that's the time to leave. i don't suspect that that is coming any time soon, but i think i'll always look and see how i feel about it. i have no plans to go, but someone asked me at one of these events whether i would definitely be there on the day power is handed over to the next president. i think that would also be a particularly presumptuous statement today. we'll see. we haven't made a decision or told the president, unless you
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have heard something different? >> no, i haven't. [laughter] >> if i can ask a follow-up on the impeachment thing. do you think that would be good for the president to be impeached by the republicans? >> no, i don't think so. impeachment is a very serious thing that has been bandied about by the recent republican vice presidential nominee in a very unserious way. no one has even made, has any allegation of anything that would be in six universes from what is generally considered in that space. no, i think that we take it very seriously. i don't think it would be a good thing. i am, you know, but i think it would be foolish to discount the possibility that the republicans
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would consider going down that path at some time in the future. >> \[inaudible] if this has been the spanish and the i.r.a., you wouldn't have supported it and tolerated it. shouldn't you have gotten angry about this earlier, would that have made a difference? >> the president has addressed this, the cretarrry has difference? >> i think as the president has addressed come to a cease-fire. he is going to keep working very hard on that. he is still in egypt right now working on that. we'll see what we can do there. i think that more than anything else is the most important step right now. >> other allies may be treating the circumstance and how israel
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has been allowed to carry on killing so many kids? >> i think as we said, israel has a right to defend itself. i'll let you judge if there is a different standard. >> let me ask this first, as i was watching the images on wednesday of the dutch morning ceremonies and the hearses and the caskets come streaming down the street, i remember the white house put out a statement that it would stand shoulder to shoulder with the dutch people in light of the malaysian crash and takedown. i wonder if there was an opportunity or discussion between the dutch leaders and the white house about whether the president could go to that memorial service. it seems like that would be a literal standing shoulder to shoulder with them, and also project a message to europe about where we stand in terms of russia right now.
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i'm wondering, first of all, i want to see if there is a discussion on that and wondering how much the political capital the president would lobby europe for more sanctions, sanctions with russia. >> i'm not aware of any discussion like that. the president spoke to the prime minister a number of times. it wasn't a discussion we had in the white house. second, you know, i don't know if it's a question of political capital. i think the president has pushed europe very hard. he spoke about this in an interview he did yesterday about how hopefully the malaysian -- that the tragedy that has helped with malaysian airlines would serve as a wake-up call for some of the european nations to step up here. he will continue pushing them because it's the right thing to do. like i said earlier, the best way for sanctions to work is when everyone is united on this.
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i don't think he views this as an expenditure of political capital, more the right thing to do to get to a good public policy solution. >> sam. >> senator bernie sanders the other day talking about the relationships with the republicans, he made the point that or he made a criticism, i should say, that the president took too long to essentially recognize that congressional republicans were not good negotiating partners. it led me to recall after the 2012 elections, they did predict that it would be broken. is the senator right in his criticism and if not, why not? >> well, i think first to the question, no one, certainly not
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the president when he said that believed that all partisan divisions would go away and we would live in a world of kumbaya. we would pass large pieces of bipartisan legislation. the question was would we be able to make some progress. in some cases, the fever did break on revenue. we were able to get republicans for the first time in decades to agree to raise taxes on the wealthy and protect taxes on the middle class. we would all like there to be less, to have the republican party that was less extreme and it was the hope that the election would have that effect. it did not. it even may have had the opposite effect. that remains a challenge. i think that as someone who was there for all of the discussions in the 2011 and 2012 after the republicans took over is the president is willing to listen to the other side and see if they can come to an agreement. he certainly spent a lot of time with speaker boehner and others to try to get that done. that was the right thing to do.
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he never had any misconceptions about the challenges of the republicans passing anything, the weakness of speaker boehner's position when he had a tea party that would refuse, they thought that defaulting on the national debt for the first time would be a good idea with a deputy who may not have been the most loyal deputy in mr. cantor. so we understand that. we also had a situation that had to be dealt with. there was no path to, at the time to dealing with the debt limit than having to work with republicans. so we had to do that. now i think over the course of time, there is no doubt that the more you deal with them, the
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more you know and the more you refine your approach. i think in the showdowns we have had to have with them over the years, the president has a pretty good record. he stared them down on the payroll tax cut, the shutdown, the fiscal cliff and has achieved pretty broad public policy gains without having to give up very much, which is a pretty impressive thing in the course of divided government in a very partisan time. >> alex. >> as you know, the president's agenda, the democrat agenda has stalled in the senate. the republicans are still very angry about the filibuster reform. that has poisoned the well with the gridlock. the president is getting nominees through. was it worth it and how hard did the administration encourage that move? >> i think it would -- it's not exactly like republicans in the senate, the democrats passed a whole heck of a lot of legislation before the change in the rules. i don't think there -- i think that's a little bit of excuse making on their part. i think that the ability to get our nominees through, especially
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our judicial nominees, has been tremendous benefit. we basically, none controversial nominees being held up for 200 days for no reason prior to this and i think -- we have been able to make tremendous progress in reshaping the judiciary especially in the last year or so since that. changes have been made getting four judges appointed to the d.c. court of appeals. they said we would never get one for the rest of our presidency, that's huge progress. we were very supportive of senator reid's effort to do it. >> given how dysfunctional it has become, do you think the president would like to see further rules reform no bills can get past any of the -- >> the problem is not the rules. the problem is that you have a republican minority who decided six years ago that they were
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going to block everything the president wanted to do. that is where they filibuster everything. that is a fundamental problem there. i don't think it's a wise thing for one branch to suggest a bunch of changes on how the other branch does that. we have been in close contact with senator reid throughout, over all of the years, but as he has contemplated the changes in the past. if a desire comes up again, i'm sure we will be talking to him about it. >> mr. lauter. >> you mentioned earlier about the problem of foreign crisis and blocking the message. i wonder whether that, whether that tends to be pushing towards going bigger on immigration later as one of the equities that this is an issue that the public is focused on where the president can come through and say i'm doing something and then he'll get more attention if it is big rather than small
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. >> the president's goal is to do this in a way that is most impactful consistent with his authority. that will be how the filter by which he makes his decision on this. like i said, we're still waiting for the attorney general and secretary johnson are still undertaking the process here. i think that this executive action will be very significant in not just its public policy, but in terms of the politics of immigration reform going forward. now you have, you have a world where you have senator cruz demanding that we deport all of the dreamers, you can imagine what the reaction to this will
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be and the represent party has a choice after that, which is are they going to double -- are they going to go back and try to pass comprehensive immigration reform which the president will rip up whatever executive action he does the day they pass that or are they going to set themselves up for the next 2 1/2 years here to be arguing that, to elect the republican in order to deport all of these people. that will be a really interesting question about how to handle that. so they would have -- >> the one you're going to do that you haven't announced yet? got it. >> well, what i said, the substance, in terms of the politics of immigration reform will have a significant impact. >> at the end of the summer. >> yes. >> in one block? [laughter] >> as you look at keeping your political hat on, as you look at the landscape of the house and senate races, how can you examine them and think about how they might affect the presidential race? what do you think in the races now that hits you in terms of the larger race to come?
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>> i think just one note on the 2014 election is you wouldn't know this from reading the coverage, but as someone who has spent a lot of time looking at the data and talking to the people in the race and the president has been out with the fundraising committees recently, it has strengthened in the last few weeks here somewhat significantly. it's a tough territory. we have a lot of work to do. you would think reading the news that they got it worse. a lot of people including us believe it's gotten stronger where democratic incumbents have strengthened their hands in alaska, arkansas, north carolina. now tough states, a lot of work to do. i think what is interesting about these races for the long term is probably just because of where the senate races are per se, they're not happening, with a couple of exceptions,
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happening in states that will be determined by a presidential election under most scenarios. where people should pay attention is the governors races. it's always helpful but not determinative to have the governor of your party in charge of a big battleground state. you have better political, nuts and bolts political in that state and the like. it has impact on democratic governors, makes it hard for republicans to undertake some of these very onerous positions to cut down on voting rights. and then long-term in the governor races have to do with censuses and redirecting. in losing the 2010 governors races like we did was very
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impactful. democrats going forward have to be as focused as republicans are on those races for that very reason and because where washington is so, having so much trouble passing anything, a lot of the public policy stuff is happening at the state level, looking at the 13 states plus district of columbia that passed minimum wage since the president called for raising the minimum wage in state of union. look at a.c.a. and medicaid expansion, it makes a big difference on who controls the statehouse there. it needs to be a focus for us. >> are you projecting, predicting that democrats will hold these? >> i don't think anyone would tell you that it is easy, but i believe they will hold the senate. i think we have better candidates and the republicans made somewhat of a fundamental error in deciding that their best candidates in a lot of these states were members of the tremendously unpopular republican congressional house majority. it's tough. it requires a lot of work. we got good candidates and we expect the president to help them. >> what are the prospects of
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changing the 2008 law bringing any details in congress onboard with that? is the president going to come out and reiterate his favor of adjusting that law the way speaker boehner, but also henry has asked him to do? >> well, i was sort of mystified, but i guess not surprised by speaker boehner demanding that, raising questions. the president wrote him a letter three weeks ago specifically asking, saying that we wanted changes in the law. we sent that request up when we sent up the other request, however many weeks ago that was. we believe that. we're working with, we're talking to members on the hill about the best way to go about doing it. i think we can't do is hold up resources over this issue if we
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can't come to a resolution. we need the resources. changes in authority without resources, nothing to solve our problem. we need the resources and we need them sooner rather than later which is why i pointed out it's disappointing and frustrating and the republicans have decided to hang up the closed for business sign so early before august and just declare they're not going to act. we're going to keep working, as we said many times, and our, we said yesterday from the white house that we continue support or changes in the law, we're going to work with congress to make sure they're done in a way that dematerials illegal migration, protects legitimate claims. >> why separate the two when it could be done? >> well, you're going to have theoretically a version that passes the senate and a version that passes the house. you have to reconcile with them. a lot of proposals is one where we disagree with the way in
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which they do it. it has to be done in a way that meets the test we just laid out. we don't believe the current proposal does that. >> dan, you mentioned, you brought up the presidential library. don't be alarmed. >> good thing the security people are not here. [laughter] >> looking at the proposals that are there, mrs. obama [indiscernible] can you describe a little bit of what he is doing? >> a vast majority of this is being handled outside the white house. >> this is something that the president and first lady lady, this is obviously important to them. people who are very close to
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them, involved in this process, i do not know if the resident has look at the bids or not. if he is not coming you will of the appropriate time. >> the perfect time is coming up now and >> i have not asked him, so i do not know the answer. >> what about giving the museum to dallas? put your politics hat on again. i am wondering, as uss the 26th
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team field with republicans, do you see -- who do you see is the most formidable and the most beatable? >> the caveat i would give here is a stage of the game, if we judge the 2016 elections in 2014, it would be like deciding who would win the 2016 super bowl based on the 20 14th and a fell season. deciding who's going to win the 2016 super bowl race on the 2014 nfl season. i mean, people to work for barack obama probably know this better than anyone else which is two of the smartest political reporters around, john harris from politico and mark halperin in 2006 wrote a book called the way to win in which i don't think anyone book had barack or obama. that's my caveat by telephone at kabul. i think that santa cruz is a particularly interesting candidate for democrats.
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he is deeply out of step with the country on a wide array of issues. -- senator cruz. i have to admit i was redevelopment for the republican convention to be in doubt because i thought it would be interesting if he ran and lost and how he would handle the nominating of another person. i don't know whether this individual would have the organization to pull it off but i think one of the most intriguing candidates is senator paul. i think that he has a message -- he's the only republican i think who is articulated a message that is not, there's potentially appealing to younger americans. every other republican that is running is basically just yet, is basically romney like when it comes to young americans. they come from a completely different era, but the
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libertarian bent of senator paul, there's a germ of something there. where he can pull it off i don't know him well enough to know. he has said some things that i think could be problematic in the larger electorate. but i will very much enjoy watching the republican primary from of our for the first time a number of years. i think this will be an interesting one. >> a quick follow-up question. would you rather run against tom cruise or rick perry? >> that is like what you read of ice cream or cake? >> i'm going to stick with the 2016 beach. in recent months, you've been distancing yourself on the foreign policy and just yesterday he made a specific effort to say -- [inaudible] didn't say anything about a
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second term about gaza, ukraine, iraq. is it annoying for the white house to hear your first term secretary of state -- and have you talked to the president? >> i have a different interpretation of this than i think you do. i think up until the moment when secretary clinton decides she's going to run or not, and probably beyond that, there will be a massive amount of attention to try to divide meeting anything she says but it would've been to me and awkward since construction to then go out of her way when document her own experience in the first term did in associate herself with a second term. she has been, as issues have come up and she's been asked about throughout her book tour and other media appearances, she's been very supportive of the president on issues like her efforts on iran, around, sort of
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a broader foreign policy. so i don't see her -- that's not how i see it. that's not how the president sees it. i don't think we should assume that the president, that the secretary clinton or anyone else must agree when it% with the president on every single decision he has made either before or since. but she has been incredibly loyal to the president to he is very appreciative of it. all of us who work with her are very appreciative of it, and so i suspect will be a lot of criminology into every word she says for a long time, but i'm not concerned about that. .. >> is it going to hurt the president if she starts to [indiscernible]. >> i do not think so. in a long list of concerns that i have in my life, political and otherwise, this is pretty low in my list.

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